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Who’s on which committee? A guide to leadership in the General Assembly

The General Assembly isn’t just about what happens on the House or Senate floor. Any bill has to make its way through a winding maze of committees before it comes before a full chamber for a vote.

Each committee has leaders, and those leaders help decide what bills are heard and how discussion proceeds. There are multiple committees dedicated solely to topics of education.

Here is a guide to the leaders and members of those committees, along with their listed occupation.

House

Education Committee — K-12

Chairs

Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke: Blackwell has served seven terms in the House and is a familiar name for anyone who covers education topics in the chamber. He is an attorney who lives in Valdese.

Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston: With six terms in the House, Torbett is another familiar name in the legislature. He lists his occupation as legislator and resides in Stanley.

Vice Chairs

Rep. Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford: Legislator with four terms in the House.

Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe: Legislator with 9.5 terms in the House.

Rep. Diane Wheatley, R-Cumberland: Retired with one term in the House.

Rep. David Willis, R-Union: Small business owner with one term in the House.

Members

Rep. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake: Mediator

Rep. John Bradford, R-Mecklenburg: CEO, PetScreening, Inc.

Rep. Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford: Education consultant

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes: Teacher

Rep. James Gailliard, D-Nash: Pastor, Word Tabernacle Church

Rep. Rosa Gill, D-Wake: Retired educator

Rep. Charles Graham, D-Robeson: Business owner, retired educator

Rep. Rachel Hunt, D-Mecklenburg: Owner, Hunt for College, LLC; Co-Owner, Charlotte School Search — educational consulting companies

Rep. Frank Iler, R-Brunswick: Retired

Rep. Jake Johnson, R-Henderson: Real estate

Rep. Donny Lambeth, R-Forsyth: Consultant

Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland: Retired principal

Rep. Jeffrey Mcneely, R-Iredell: Owner of G&M Milling

Rep. Graig Meyer, D-Orange: Social worker, consultant

Rep. Charles Miller, R-Brunswick: Chief Deputy, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office

Rep. Larry Potts, R-Davidson: Real estate investor, building contractor

Rep. Dennis Riddell, R-Alamance: Marine engineer, educator, thermographer

Rep. Phil Shepard, R-Onslow: Retired civil service, minister

Rep. Kandie Smith, D-Pitt: Training consultant

Rep. Larry Strickland, R-Johnston: Real estate appraiser, farmer

Rep. Donna White, R-Johnston: Registered nurse, aging specialist

Education Committee — Community Colleges

Chair

Rep. Pat Hurley, R-Randolph: Hurley is in her eighth term in the House. She is also the vice chair of the House committee on families, children, and aging policy. The General Assembly website lists her occupation as legislator. She lives in Asheboro.

Vice Chairs

Rep. Mark Brody, R-Union: Contractor with five terms in the House.

Rep. Rachel Hunt, D-Mecklenburg: Owner, Hunt for College, LLC; Co-Owner, Charlotte School Search — educational consulting companies. Two terms in the House.

Rep. John Sauls, R-Harnett: Minister with five terms in the House.

Members

Rep. Jay Adams, R-Catawba: Commercial real estate broker

Rep. Hugh Blackwell, R-Burke: Attorney

Rep. Ashton Clemmons, D-Guilford: Education consultant

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes: Teacher

Rep. Brian Farkas, D-Pitt: Director of Development and Client Relations, JKF Architecture

Rep. James Gailliard, D-Nash: Pastor, Word Tabernacle Church

Rep. Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck: Owner, Hanig Services, Inc.

Rep. Larry Pittman, R-Cabarrus: Pastor

Rep. Raymond Smith, Jr., D-Sampson: Former Vice Chairman, Board of Education

Rep. Brian Turner, D-Buncombe: Commercial real estate agent

Rep. Steve Tyson, R-Craven: Realtor and general contractor

Rep. Lee Zachary, R-Forsyth: Attorney

Education appropriations

Chairs

Rep. John Hardister, R-Guilford: Hardister has served five terms in the House. He has been a regular on education committees for multiple terms. His occupation is listed as marketing. He lives in Whitsett.

Rep. Pat Hurley, R-Randolph (already listed in prior committee)

Rep. John Torbett, R-Gaston (already listed in prior committee)

Vice Chairs

Rep. Jeffrey Elmore, R-Wilkes: A teacher with five terms in the House.

Members

Rep. Jay Adams, R-Catawba: Commercial real estate broker

Rep. Cynthia Ball, D-Wake: Mediator

Rep. Cecil Brockman, D-Guilford: Legislator

Rep. Mark Brody, R-Union: Contractor

Rep. Susan Fisher, D-Buncombe: Legislator

Rep. Terry Garrison, D-Vance: Retired educator, realtor

Rep. Rosa Gill, D-Wake: Retired Educator

Rep. Karl Gillespie, R-Macon: Communications contractor, farmer

Rep. Bobby Hanig, R-Currituck: Owner, Hanig Services, Inc.

Rep. Zack Hawkins, D-Durham: No profession listed

Rep. Marvin Lucas, D-Cumberland: Retired principal

Rep. Charles Miller, R-Brunswick: Chief Deputy, Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office

Rep. Diane Wheatley, R-Cumberland: Retired

Rep. David Willis, R-Union: Small business owner

Senate

Education/Higher Education

Chairs

Sen. Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga: Ballard has served more than three terms in the Senate and has been instrumental in education topics over the past few sessions. She is the director for public policy at Samaritan’s Purse. She lives in Blowing Rock.

Sen. Mike Lee, R-New Hanover: Lee is another legislator who has been active in education during his more than three terms in the Senate. He lost his seat in 2018, but regained it in 2020, so this is his first term back in about two years. Lee is a commercial real estate and land use attorney living in Wilmington.

Members

Sen. Lisa Barnes, R-Nash: Agribusiness

Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake: Attorney

Sen. Kevin Corbin, R-Cherokee: Insurance agency owner

Sen. David Craven, R-Randolph: Bank executive

Sen. Don Davis, D-Pitt: Educator

Sen. Valerie Foushee, D-Orange: No occupation listed

Sen. Amy Caley, R-Alamance: Attorney

Sen. Michael Lazzara, R-Onslow: Self employed, Lazzara Pizza Inc.

Sen. Tom McInnis, R-Richmond: Small business owner

Sen. Dean Proctor, R-Catawba: Retired

Sen. Gladys Robinson, D-Guilford: Health services, executive

Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Craven: Retired small business owner

Sen. Vickie Sawyer, R-Iredell: Insurance agent, owner of Sawyer Insurance & Financial Services

Sen. Joyce Waddell, D-Mecklenburg: Education consultant for early child programs

Education/higher education appropriations

Chairs

Sen. Deanna Ballard, R-Watauga

Sen. Mike Lee, R-New Hanover

(Both are discussed in more detail in the previous committee)

Members

Sen. Ted Alexander, R-Cleveland: Western Regional Director, Preservation NC

Sen. Sydney Batch, D-Wake: Attorney

Sen. Jay Chaudhuri, D-Wake: Attorney

Sen. Kevin Corbin, R-Cherokee: Insurance agency owner

Sen. David Craven, R-Randolph: Bank executive

Sen. Don Davis, D-Pitt: Educator

Sen. Valerie Foushee, D-Orange: No occupation listed

Sen. Norman Sanderson, R-Craven: Retired small business owner

Alex Granados

Alex Granados is senior reporter for EducationNC.

Michael Taffe

Michael Taffe is a reporter for EducationNC. His reporting focuses on the community college system.